Miguel and I traveled around India (specifically Mumbai, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Delhi) and shared the craft of plastic bag crochet with various NGOs, community groups, and individuals.
The plan was to study India’s plastic bag problem, teach freeform plastic bag crochet, spread the message of plastic bag conservation, and inspire others to recycle single-use plastic bags into fashionable, reusable creations – creations that could possibly provide a revenue stream for impoverished communities. Thanks to all the wonderful people we met along the way, all our goals were accomplished! We held 13 formal workshops, several more informal ones, and I estimate that 600-700 people learned the basics of plastic bag crochet. We also collected hundreds of crochet hooks to pass out to people we taught.
For a more detailed explanation of the project idea, here’s the Kickstarter page we created prior to our trip.
While each workshop was tailored to the specific audience (adults, students, children), all workshops emphasized plastic bag crochet as an art form, as a fashion statement, and as a means to lessen India’s ecological footprint on the earth.
The idea is that through learning a fun craft project that involves plastic bags, individuals will become more environmentally conscious, more mindful of the things they throw into the street, and more respectful of the world around them. And hopefully as a result, they will be actively engaged in influencing the trash tossing behavior of their families and communities.
Many of our workshop participants are now capable of performing basic crochet stitches, creating simple bag designs, and transforming waste materials into fashionable, reusable products. Some of the NGOs we worked with are looking into opportunities for them to market these products and earn fair wages for their labor. We’ll post updates as we learn of new community initiatives!
Special thanks to the following people and organizations for helping to make this trip possible!
Joyce & Basil Andrews
Carlton & Martica Andrews